Recently, General Electric announced that its GE Capital unit would discontinue lending to gun and ammunition manufacturers (“GE Capital cuts lending deals for gun shops,” Web, April 25). Under the leadership of current CEO and Chairman Jeffrey Immelt, not only has GE become an investor’s worst nightmare — with stock prices during his tenure hovering in the $20s — but this once-outstanding and proud enterprise has also become a corporate slug on the political underbelly of the Obama administration.
GE, while once the epitome of dynamism and free enterprise, has now become a political pawn of leftist and progressive causes. The corporation has clearly lost its way under Mr. Immelt. As a matter of fact, based on its dismal stock performance under his leadership, it is a miracle that he still has his job. This likely is a reflection of the fact that GE’s current board of directors is as ineffective as its CEO and stagnant stock performance.
Under Jack Welch, GE was magnificent: a never-ending dynamo of innovation, improvement and integrity. Investor returns were extremely rewarding, and there was a rigorous executive-evaluation process that was designed to weed out underperformers, to advance the cream of the organization’s human capital and talent and to focus on ever-increasing ways to augment the value of the corporation’s assets through modernization and change. GE was an apolitical profit machine run by one of the greatest leaders in business history. Nevertheless, Mr. Welch made one of his rare errors in judgment by supporting Mr. Immelt as his successor. GE will never reclaim it greatness until Jeffrey Immelt is gone.
North Las Vegas, Nev.